The first part of Day Two started with films about love. Six films were shown, each presenting love in a different way. Love of yourself, love of animals, love of sports and love of someone else. The film that received the biggest applause was Beautiful. It told the story of Veronica, a young girl. She is a prisoner in her own huge body. During a party in a nightclub a boy makes fun of her. Veronica is deeply hurt: she goes to the toilet, locks the door and stays there where no one can see her.

Samira, on the other hand, is a film about a young African woman, who barricades herself in a shipping container and threatens to commit suicide. In order to get her out Janosch, a man of around 30 years old promises to help her. The other films shown included Touch, Love is Sting, Are you happy and Noriaki. All of these films were full of interesting ideas and explored moving topics.

The second screenings of day two of the Festival introduced some very interesting and diverse topics. Firstly, we were shown Lost and Found – a film which focuses on two men of different ages from different backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities, bought together by a delayed flight in an airport lounge. It is a film that points to the importance of family, as in the end both men make their own journeys back to them. It is a ‘feel good’ ending, as the younger man decides to take control of his own life, making his own decisions, and the older man chooses to spend Christmas with his family after years of not doing so. He decides he wants to be a part of his grandchild’s life, after years of apparently avoiding it.

Bon Voyage, on the other hand, is a highly powerful and relevant portrayal of the refugee crisis. A couple’s compassion is put to the test when they come across an overcrowded and near-sinking ship of refugees while on a trip exploring the Mediterranean. After rescuing a mere few, they are immediately conflicted between breaking the law and transporting those they managed to save to safety in Europe, or turning them over to the Libyan authorities in a bid to ‘do the right thing’. It is highly emotive and really forces the audience to think about the struggles and life threatening situations that refugees attempting to escape conflict will inevitably face.

33 Microliter is a short documentary that presented the audience with interesting facts, attempting to calculate the sense of life in two minutes. It included information about elements central to our human lives, such as sperm, cells and teardrops. The fourth film, A Boy in the Ocean, was a portrayal of a young boy in the midst of discovering his sexuality. As a twelve year old, he is beginning to make the transition into adolescence and yet he is trapped, surrounded by water, and with two parents who still treat him like a child. The film presents his frustration at not being able to express himself fully, or being able to explore his newfound desires in any way – a universal issue that could be said to be applicable to everyone.

I Still Bleed Inside is a Brazilian fictional film featuring a young woman who was forced to leave her home town due to abuse. The film is moving because it explores the inner pain of the main protagonist: the pain that others cannot see with their eyes. An audience can connect with such a theme because everybody can be said to be fighting their own internal battles.

On the last part of today´s program we had opportunity to see four Bulgarian films in the National competition vol.1. All these films fell within the category of fiction. They were connected with emotions through misery or through differences. The names of the films were: For Eva, You are Beautiful, Cello, Getting fat in a healthy way.

 Written by Imogen Wenner and Filipo Jahic
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